Hartford Police have arrested an officer for the second time after they say he gave department-owned property to a civilian.
Back in December of 2017, the Internal Affairs Division of the Hartford Police Department arrested Sergeant Justin Torniero, a 10 year veteran of the department, after he took a police vehicle while on accrued leave, filled it with gas, and drove it for miles without permission. Investigators say that he also tampered with an automatic vehicle locator. Torniero was suspended without pay in December, pending the conviction in this case.
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In March 2018, multiple law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant related to narcotics in a Farmington home and arrested 52-year-old John Butler. While searching the home, authorities located police equipment belonging to the Hartford Police Department.
Further investigation revealed that Torniero provided a police-issued ballistic vest and mountain bike to Butler. According to information obtained by Hartford Police, this investigation discovered that Torniero would drive in a Hartford police vehicle to Butler’s home in Farmington to use cocaine and alcohol while in uniform.
On Monday, investigators issued an arrest warrant for Torniero, who turned himself in on Tuesday.
Mayor Luke Bronin released the following statement which reads:
“This officer has been suspended since last year, after he was arrested for larceny, and these latest charges stem from the Hartford Police Department’s own internal investigation. The criminal activity he has been accused of is egregious, and it goes without saying that it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Torniero was arraigned Wednesday in Hartford Superior Court. He remains on a $175,000 bond, and is due back in court on October 3rd.